Month: May 2008
Colonos recently referred to David Suzuki in the context of DiCaprio’s documentary about climate chaos and change, the appropriately titled “11th Hour” (link should be generated automagically below) – and doing a bit of googling for that purpose led me to some presumptuous nonsense? about Suzuki being an “ecofascist”:
“Eco fascism, can be used in two different ways:
- For specific elements of radical environmentalism which are openly affiliated with neo-fascism, or which share conceptual similarities with fascist theories. It is used critically from an external source, and somewhat less commonly used from within as a self label, to refer to various white nationalist and third positionist groups who incorporate environmentalist positions into their ideology.
- The term is also used as a political epithet by political conservatives to discredit deep ecology, mainstream environmentalism, and other left and non-left ecological positions, and less frequently by political leftists to discredit environmental movements they see as non-left such as deep ecology.”
So who do the conspiracy theorists think are behind this socalled ecofascism? None others than the very same kind of people that actual, radical environmentalists – anyone that I have ever met, and it is quite a few anyway – would call the greenwashers:
“Greenwashing is the unjustified appropriation of environmental virtue by a company, an industry, a government, a politician or even a non-government organization to create a pro-environmental image, sell a product or a policy, or to try and rehabilitate their standing with the public and decision makers after being embroiled in controversy. Read the rest of this entry »
Update on Nottingham “terror” arrest: A lying University will not be an “open and free arena for debate and dissent”
This is a follow-up to the recent case at Nottingham University where the combination of misinformed, xenophobic colleagues, an administration without perspective and law making far beyond the rule of law led to the arrest and prolonged detainment of a student and staff and confiscation of their belongings simply for doing their job: finding, printing and investigating documents.
What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate and a sheepish, dependent and pathetic bunch of business administrators – jacks of all administrative trades, masters of no intellect – who call the anti terror cops on their own students and staff without reflection, without (reasonable) thought and with no sense of reality at all.
Colonos have just written to Alf Nilsen to clarify the exact meaning of the third last paragraph, which commences: “Fourthly, the claim that…” which appears to be written a bit too hastily or merely goes right over my head :)
However, for now – here goes, see for yourself where it’s at:
Dear all – some of you may have written to the Registrar at the University of Nottingham, Dr. Paul Greatrix, to protest the recent false terror arrests at our university, and some of you might also have received a reply. My colleagues and I would like to point out a number of inconsistencies in this reply – see below, and as always: please circulate!!
Comments on University Communication on Recent Events
Here is an article in English that mentions some of the sources referred to by colonos when noting that Rafael Correa don’t give a toss about the indigenous people and campesinos whose self-described saviour he likes to present himself as in the global media’s corporate eye – something which he to quite some extent share with his Bolivian partner in populistic crime, Evo aMoralas, who:
“…rejected oil and gas expropriation, supports Big Oil interests, and embraced business as usual policies. Under nationalizations Morales-style, current contractual arrangements are effectively intact, and the country’s mineral resources have been sold off to the greatest ever number of foreign investors.
In addition, Morales broke his promise to triple the painfully low minimum wage, increased it 10% instead, and maintained previous neoliberal fiscal austerity and economic stability policies. He also tolerates the US Drug Enforcement Agency’s intrusive presence and the Pentagon’s Chapare military base; appointed hard right economic, defense and other ministers; opposed agrarian reform; supports large landowners; provides them large subsidies and tax incentives; and backs the Confederation of Private Businessmen in Bolivia by promoting foreign investment, social spending cuts, prioritization of exports, and other pro-business policies above the interests of the people who elected him. Petras says Morales “excels in public theater” by combining “political demagogy” to his base while backing neoliberal IMF austerity and business-friendly policies”. (Read more about forgotten promises here.)
We’re much too busy to translate, sooo many documents floating about these days, so here goes from Upsidedownworld.org, beginning with a highlight:
“According to the CONAIE declaration, “We reject President Rafael Correa´s racist, authoritarian and antidemocratic statements, which violate the rights of [Indigenous] nationalities and peoples enshrined in international conventions and treaties. This constitutes an attack against the construction of a plurinational and intercultural democracy in Ecuador. Correa has assumed the traditional neoliberal posture of the rightist oligarchy.“
Rafael Correa is the poster boy of neo-socialism – he wears Quechua shirts and bathes himself in the limelight of indigeous peoples’ struggle in the global media, makes promises to the poor and the illiterate (and also delivers on some of his promises) – but more than anything he is increasingly despised by the indigenous peoples and the campesinos “who mean nothing to him” and who he represses violently if they organise against the foreign companies that Correa contracts their land away to. Also known in international socialist and even environmental circles as the saviour of the Yasuni national park. But nothing could be further from the truth – as has been reported by the colonos blog since before Correa entered office.
I have just returned from a meeting where yachaks (shamans) from various regions of “el Oriente” (basically the Ecuadorian Amazon) have gathered all weekend to discuss, among other things, Correa’s rejection in the constituent assembly processes of collective rights and a range of specific demands made by the indigenous movements as part of the rewriting of the Ecuadorian constitution. Talks are of strikes and some suggest that another uprising is brewing – at any rate Rafael Correa is very unpopular with indigenous people and campesinos, because he arrogantly have stated that he cares not about their demands since “they only constitute a few percent of his voters“.
So what does Mr. Correa care about – well, like the Clintons he seems mostly fascinated by inscribing himself into the white man’s history of conquest of the world through an industrial economy that is essentially based on exploitation of labour and pachamama (mother earth).
BRASILIA, May 23 (Xinhua) — Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said here Friday that the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) will boost programs to help realize financial self-sufficiency in the region.
After signing the bloc’s constitutive agreement in the Brazilian capital, Correa said it was “a historical day for South America, which brings great expectation and hope.”
“We can do like the European Union (EU). As the EU has to explain why they united, we will have to explain to our children and grandchildren why we took so long to do it,” he told a press conference.”“
Correa’s vision and that of UNASUR is about entrance into an economy that many ever since its inception – with the conquest of new worlds and the industrial production apparatus that makes wars for more profit possible – have been fighting. And for quite some years it has been quite clear that it is a very unsustainable economy that the planet cannot sustain.
Of course it is the rich and the powerful who mostly have to change their wasteful ways, but to happily join that horrible economy that Correa is so blinded by and which accelerates climate change and destroys civilization is plain stupid. However, the middle classes who get better roads (this, the year where it seems like we have to take drastic measure and actions to counter climate change, is the year of asphalt in Ecuador), nicer cars to drive them on and bigger supermarkets to park them by and shop in, and of course the capitalists that exploit the natural resources that he so happily gives to foreign and private interests are laughing all the way to the bank while the earth cries.
The rest of the chinese article follows.
CONSIDER THIS. A fine example of the distortion of the rule of law that the Terrorism Act of 2000 is. It provides the opportunity to switch of due process and being innocent until proven guilty – moreover, and the important catalyst here, it encourages mis- and uninformed people to call the authorities on their neighbour. Boy Cry wolf, where do we go from here? Like climate change processes operate through positive feedback loops, so do law and culture. Two people have probably just been radicalised – and thousands give them their support. As the leaders of the world creep further and deeper into the ir castles their guns and laws are all the more loud. A downward spiral for profit.
I’m writing to call your attention to a recent incident at the University of Nottingham, where one of our graduate students at the School of Politics and International Relations and an administrative member of staff at the Department of Engineering were arrested by armed police under the Terrorism Act of 2000.
Their alleged “crime” was that the graduate student had downloaded an Al-Qaeda training manual from a US government website for research purposes, as he’s writing his MA dissertation on Islamic extremism and international terrorist networks. He had then sent this to his friend in the Department of Engineering for printing. The printed material had been spotted by other staff and reported to the University authorities who passed on the information to the police.
The two were then arrested by armed police on May 14 and held for six days without charge, before being released without charge on May 20. During the six days they were imprisoned, the men had their homes raided and their families harassed by the police. It is worth noticing that in talking to one of my colleagues, a police officer remarked that the incident would never have occurred if the people involved had been blonde, Swedish PhD students (the two men were of British-Pakistani and Algerian backgrounds respectively).
The incident was recently reported in the Times Higher Education Supplement online:
Needless to say, this raises hugely important issues both about academic freedom and civil liberties. Obviously, there is the issue that for those of us involved in research on contentious issues we will by necessity have to consult primary materials of a controversial nature, and the fact that the material is controversial should not lead to it being deemed as illegitimate research material. Moreover, we should not under any circumstances have to fear for infringements upon our civil liberties as a consequence of doing our jobs. Moreover, it goes without saying that the university should guarantee the academic freedom, freedom of speech and expression, and civil liberties of all members of staff and students, irrespective of ethnic and religious background or political beliefs!
I would be most grateful if you could circulate this e-mail as widely as possible in the interest of raising awareness and attention about this incident and the wider issues of academic freedom that it gives rise to, to as many of your friends and colleagues as possible!
Please consider writing to the University of Nottingham to express your concern about this case. Letters should be sent to the Registrar, Dr Paul Greatrix, at firstname.lastname@example.org; please send a copy to email@example.com.
Dr. Alf Gunvald Nilsen
RCUK Fellow, Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice, School of Politics and International Relations, University of Nottingham
University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD, England, UK
Office: (0044) (0) 1159514032
Indigenous Peoples representatives and organizations held a protest at the May 2 2008 conclusion of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) in New York.
There is a war between those who say that the climate is changing and those who say that it isn’t, why don’t you come on back to the war, don’t be a tourist!
Some “consultant” – whatever that consultation may be – takes note that environmental celebrity and Leonardo DiCaprio chum, David Suzuki, thinks that letting the world turn into a baking hot desert with sulphuric rain is a crime demanding punishment:
“As reported by a University of Toronto student newspaper, Suzuki stated that government leaders who aren’t acting quickly enough to save the environment “should go to jail for what they’re not doing right now … What our government is not doing is a criminal act.”“
Here one might ask if not it ought to be the ultimate crime to destroy the planet? What could possible be a worse crime against humanity, against civilization, against all life?
However, the consultant, God knows who he’s been consulting?, “thinks” that this is a fascist action:
“This bit of eco-fascism was no mere slip of the tongue. A few weeks later at McGill University, Suzuki again equated government inaction on the environment with a criminal act and again was reported to have told students to find a legal way to throw politicians in jail for ignoring climate-change science.
It is worth keeping in mind that Suzuki is a geneticist turned broadcaster and not an expert on climate change. He apparently is no expert on the fundamental tenants of living in a democracy either.“
The consultant, obviously an expert on democracy, in other words, is of the opinion that fiddling while Rome burns is a democratic – right or privilege?
What exactly is it that renders the socalled elected representatives beyond jurisdiction? Why does Kissinger get the Nobel Peace Prize and not life in prison?
More concrete detainment – kill and jail anyone who doesn’t agree with your sinister plan to bring sulphuric rain to Mother Earth (freely from Stephen Hawking):
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States intends to build a big new prison at its main military base in Afghanistan, a shift from earlier aims to transfer most detainees to Afghan custody, The New York Times reported.
A Pentagon spokesman confirmed the report in the Times’ Saturday edition of the planned 40-acre complex at the Bagram military base. “There are plans under way to do that,” Lt. Col. Mark Wright said.”
There is more, if you really want to know…
There are two things that bug me about Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron – the one is the new “feature”, which changes the System / Administration / Network window to pop-up without asking for a password, as it used to do, but instead offeriing an “unlock” button after which a new password dialogue appears – and this does not keep the setting for a a pre-set time as the previous password dialogue did. Instead you have to fill it in again. Now, I wouldn’t call up that window without wanting to change something (so there is now one more click and repeated password hurdles to changing my network settings) – notice the perfect red circle:
The other bug or removal of freedom is the option to define preferred applications – which used to include default DVD player (many use VLC), but is now rather useless:
These two issues are enough to prevent me from fully, happily embracing Ubuntu Hardy Heron 8.04 – it feels like my freedom to choose has been downgraded ….
This is an interesting article:
Synthesis/Regeneration 45 (Winter 2008)
by Jane Anne Morris
While we’d surely have some disagreements about what exactly is to be done with Sutton – we strongly encourage to listen to the very good and sober presentation of the imminent danger that humanity faces as a consequence of climate change in the Reality Report interview with “Philip Sutton of the Greenleap Strategic Institute and coauthor of a new report called “Climate Code Red: the Case for a Sustainability Emergency.” http://www.climatecodered.net/ The report reviews disturbing new data and scientific understanding of climate change, explains why existing institutions have failed to respond adequately to the problem, and outlines an appropriate response.“
and read Climate Code Red Full Report
The water is running out – writes The Guardian:
“At a cost of €22m (£17.5m), six shiploads are to arrive each month for three months, from Tarragona in southern Catalonia, Marseille and Almeria – one of the driest areas of southern Spain.
Already Barcelona’s authorities have turned off civic fountains and beachside showers, brought in hosepipe bans, and banned the filling of swimming pools. Schoolchildren are being taught how to save water.
“We are only too aware of the crisis with the water as they have been giving my daughters classes for months on how to save water and only to use what they need,” said city resident Begoña Gómez, 43, as she sipped a glass of bottled water. “But we need better management of water by the government.”
As the reservoirs across Spain run dry, a “water war” has broken out, with different regions scrabbling for extra supplies.
The Socialist government, which initially opposed water transfers from one region to another, executed a political U-turn and allowed water to be pumped into Catalonia from the river Ebro in the neighbouring region of Aragon.“
Yet, we will be flooded – the oceans coming up unto civilised land through the sewers, our cleverly built-in trojan death wishes, floating our shit onto the streets …. what a big mess we have made!
To get an idea of the scale of events have a look at this Indymedia repost! …
A quote from The Guardian about implications of the global food crisis, caused by deforestation, bio-fuels and climate chaos and, of course, general greed, in the remote corners of Afghanistan:
“Haji Dawood, a farmer who used to cultivate poppy but now farms wheat in the Daman district, near Kandahar in the south, said his family had benefited from the wheat boom. “It’s the first time since I planted wheat that I can afford to feed my family … it’s going well because the price of opium has come down, and the price for my wheat has gone up. Each new season we get more money from the crop than from the previous one,” he said.“
Why do hospitals world wide and addiction treatment facilities not procure fairly traded opium as a development model? Even the Econofascist editor Frances Cairncross thought the idea merited some attention, when she was asked just that in a forum some years ago. See also this position.
“In any case“, commented Luther Blisset in the usual fashion, “this puts the exploitation of opium farmers into perspective, since last time I checked toast bread was significantly cheaper than heroin..“
Given that Bayer et al are laughing all the way to the bank in the middle of the end of the world, or whatever the recent events (from Katrina to Myanmar, from Tsunami to the Amazon Desert) signify, it could be said that we’ve come full circle:
“From 1898 through to 1910 heroin was marketed as a non-addictive morphine substitute and cough medicine for children. Bayer marketed heroin as a cure for morphine addiction before it was discovered that heroin is converted to morphine when metabolized in the liver, and as such, “heroin” was basically only a quicker acting form of morphine. The company was somewhat embarrassed by this new finding and it became a historical blunder for Bayer.“
See also: http://www.grain.org/articles/?id=39